09.13.06

Seychelles Rejoining SADC, Lesotho summit results

Posted in International Organisations at 12:12 pm by Robert Klien

On August 16 a senior government official said that the Seychelles intends to rejoin the Southern African Development Community and that the regional trade bloc had cancelled USD 2.5 million in fees it still owes.

As discussed earlier in Seychelles joining and quitting SADC, the Seychelles quit SADC in 2003 as it was expensive for such a small country to pay the USD 550 000 membership fees. No return on Seychelles investment of money, time and effort was seen by the country authorities, particularly because of shortages of foreign exchange.

But then the Seychelles has announced its intention to rejoin SADC because of Foreign Affairs playing a key role in defending and promoting Seychelles’ interests in a globalised world. The Seychelles was going to rejoin SADC in 2006, so leaders of the bloc have discussed its request in Lesotho this summer.

The summit has welcomed the country to rejoin the economic group. Also, the organisation has agreed to clear its arrears of about USD 2.6 million, worth of subscriptions. Although the money was a big loss to SADC, its member states wanted to readmit the Seychelles into SADC.

However, the contributions of 2% towards SADC amounting to USD 280 000 per year would still stand. The member states understood that the Seychelles had serious problems, and the SADC Secretariat was mandated to work on how the country can pay back the arrears. Although instead of the prescribed subscription the Seychelles could afford some of the sum annually, this had not been accepted.

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